Zamioculcas zamiifolia or ZZ plants are low-care plants that most new beginners may find difficult to water the ZZ plants due to their low water requirements. Both overwatering and underwatering may cause diseases in your ZZ plant.
Watering your ZZ plant on a schedule may not always help you to avoid water-related issues. You should have a look at it to decide whether it needs water or not. Your attention makes the plant thrive. So, let us know everything about watering a ZZ plant and the problems that bother you and your plant if you have not watered it correctly.
In this article, we will explore why it is important to properly water your ZZ plant when to water your ZZ plant, how to check the water needs of your plants, how often a ZZ plant needs water, water-related issues that can occur, type of water that suits your ZZ plants and things you have to do after watering your ZZ plants!
So, first, let’s begin with the importance of water for ZZ plants!
Why is it important to properly water your ZZ plant?
Like all other plants, ZZ plants too need water to survive. Water is an essential thing in maintaining the plant’s health. From germinating seeds to growing a matured ZZ plant, water plays a crucial role. Also, water helps to supply the minerals and nutrients to the parts of the plants. Watering plays an important role in photosynthesis too. Your ZZ plant will thrive well only if it gets enough water.
Generally, ZZ plants can be grown easily at home. It is a beginner-friendly plant, because of its low light and water requirements. They can survive even if you neglect them for a while, but if you keep on ignoring them, watering issues may arise and it may cause severe damage to your plant.
Watering the ZZ plant properly will play a crucial role in caring for your plant. Being attentive to the water needs of your ZZ plant will help it to thrive well. If you are the one who always cares more for your plants, you might still face a problem with your ZZ plant, if you water it too much or do it more frequently. Because these plants may tolerate slightly drought conditions, but cannot survive in wet soil for a long time.
Water it whenever it needs to and try to know the quantity of the water it drinks. You can also use moisture meters to maintain your ZZ plant healthy. Also, you have to use well-drained soil and suitable containers to plant your ZZ plant to avoid water-related problems. Check the soil before watering the plant. The soil should become dry during the intervals of watering.
Now, you know why it is so important to water your ZZ plants properly and check before watering them. Let us now explore when is the best time to water your ZZ plants and how to check the water needs of your ZZ plant!
When should you water your ZZ plants?
ZZ plants have succulent-like characteristics. They do not need to be watered too often because they store a lot of water in their rhizomes, thus they supply water for the other parts of the plant whenever it is needed. So, they can survive in drought conditions for a while. But, if you underwater your ZZ plants a lot, they do not survive for a long time. As they have low water requirements (compared to other house plants), it is a bit difficult to find out when your plant needs water.
How to check the water needs of your ZZ plant?
Although your ZZ plant is water-storing and can resist drought conditions, you need to water it whenever it is needed. Also, your plant does not like to stay in wet soil for a long time.
You should always have to check your plant to decide whether it needs water or not. As we said before it is important to be attentive to it, to maintain a healthy ZZ plant. Instead of following a schedule, check your plant’s condition regularly to make it thrive. Let us now discuss how to check the water needs of a ZZ plant!
- Firstly, check the moisture level of the soil before watering, for that you have to dip your finger an inch deep into the soil. If the soil is wet then it does not want water. The dry soil indicates that it needs to be watered.
- You can also check the moisture level of the soil by lifting the pot and checking the soil through the drainage holes. If the soil is slightly wet or dry then water your plant. If the soil is damp enough then postpone your watering.
- Take a long and thin stick, and dip it into the soil in the pot to the bottom. And then, gently remove it. If the soil is wet deep inside, the wet soil stocks at the bottom of the stick. It says that it does not need water right now. If the stick is dry, then it is time to water your plant.
- If your plant is a small one and if you can bear its weight, then try lifting it, a heavy pot indicates that the soil has enough moisture and does not need to be watered. A lightweight pot tells you that your plant needs some water. It is one of the best methods to check whether your ZZ plants need water or not. But, you need some experience to predict the water needs of your plant through this method.
- You can also use a moisture meter to determine the moisture level of the soil. It is available at cheaper costs nowadays. By dipping the moisture meter into the soil and leaving it for a few minutes, you can determine the moisture level of the soil. Water your plant only if it needs to be watered.
- Keep an eye on the foliage of your ZZ plant. If the leaves and stems are shriveled and droopy with brown edges, you can guess that your plant is being underwatered. You can also observe leaf drop in this case. If the leaves of the plant are too droopy, then you are not watering it properly for a long time and your ZZ plant needs a full drink of water right away.
- If the leaves of your ZZ plant are turning yellow, then your plant is probably saying that it is facing a problem with overwatering. Do not water it until the soil gets dry.
Thus you can check whether your plant needs water or not. It is better to water it properly before it feels sick.
Now, let us discuss how much water a ZZ plant needs and how often a ZZ plant needs water!
How much water does a ZZ plant need?
As these plants cannot tolerate being overwatered or underwatered, it might be a difficult task for you to provide sufficient water for your plant. But, you can water it sufficiently and continue doing that every time without losing your mind to do that, if you follow the below tips and tricks that we have mentioned!
- Whenever you water your ZZ plant, water it thoroughly. Let the excess water go out through the drainage holes. Also, water it slowly, and let the rhizomes of the ZZ plant absorb the water keeping the soil undisturbed.
- Let the complete soil mix absorb the water, this helps to wash out the extra mineral salts present in the water.
- Pour some of the water from the top of the soil mix. Let the water be absorbed by the soil and then pour some more water. Do not water continuously. If you do so, the soil in the upper layer which is saturated, may not be willing to take more than enough water until the absorbed water gets absorbed by the bottom layers.
- Meanwhile, they repel the water which seems like you are overwatering it. The plant needs some water to fill the rhizomes and wet the bottom layers of the soil mix. Sometimes this may result in underwatering the plant.
The amount of water a ZZ plant needs depends on the frequency of watering it and some factors should be considered while watering your ZZ plant. Now, the question is, how often a ZZ plant needs water?
How often does a ZZ plant need watering?
The frequency of watering your ZZ plant should always depend on the wetness of the soil mix. The plant needs water when the soil becomes dry. Some factors influence the watering cycle of your ZZ plant which we have discussed below!
1. Using popper soil mix for ZZ plant
The soil mix you use to plant your ZZ plant will show its impact on watering frequency. As these plants have succulent characteristics, they do not like to stay in damp soil for a long time. So use a well-drained soil mix or a cactus mix to plant your ZZ plant. It allows the excess water to drain out of the pot while keeping the roots dry. Thus, it helps to prevent root rots.
A well-draining soil mix does not allow the water to float on the top of the surface of the soil for a while. Instead, it quickly absorbs the water, and spreads water throughout the soil mix to make it completely wet; after fulfilling the rhizomes, it sends out the excess water through the drainage holes. Thus, well-draining soil mixes are suitable for filling the pot of your ZZ plant.
You can combine the normal household soil mix and perlite to make a well-draining potting mix for planting the ZZ plants. Mixing perlite to the soil mix allows air circulation in the soil and prevents root-related issues. It also helps in draining out the water quickly. Remember to add a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot to prevent the soil-clogged drainage holes.
2. Planting the ZZ plant in a suitable container
Containers that are used to plant a ZZ plant will also play a crucial role in maintaining the plant’s health. Because the pot or the container becomes the home of the plant for many years. You should always check the pot for your ZZ plant very carefully as these plants are slow-growers and are repotted after a long period.
During this time your plant will be happy staying in the pot, only if the material, shape, and size of the pot are suitable for growing it. Otherwise, some problems may arise that can damage your plant. Using a porous pot for planting ZZ plants will help the plant to thrive and save it from many diseases that are commonly caused by the watering frequency of the plant.
3. Material of the pot required for the ZZ plant
Unfinished terracotta pots, ceramic pots, and unglazed clay pots are suitable for planting these ZZ plants. They have a common quality of allowing the water to dry when it is in contact with the surface of the pot. Also, they allow the air to pass through their walls, which helps the soil mix to dry quickly.
So, always check the wetness of the soil more often to water it. Do not prefer glazed pots or plastic pots to plant your ZZ plant as they act opposite to the suitable pots. However, your ZZ plant can survive even in plastic or glazed pots if you give proper care and attention.
4. The shape of the pot required for the ZZ plant
It is better to plant your ZZ plants in a pot with a wide mouth which allows the soil to dry faster and prevents root rots. For a tall ZZ plant, use a deep pot that helps in balancing the plant.
5. Size of the pot required for the ZZ plant
The size of the pot should always depend on the size of the plant. Because the small plants should not be planted in a large pot as they are filled with a large amount of soil which takes a lot of time to dry after watering it, which your ZZ plant may not like. And the tall plants prefer large pots instead of being in small pots which leads to root-bound and pot-bound root growth. Also, the rhizomes of the grown plants need spacious pots to grow well.
Generally, in summers, the plant needs water twice a month and during the winters and in falls, water it once a month.
6. The importance of a good drainage system
The drainage system of the pot is one of the main things to consider. The ZZ plant, which is potted in a pot that has a proper drainage system needs to be watered more often when compared to a plant that is potted in a pot with a poor drainage system. The soil mix that takes a lot of time to dry indicates that the drainage system is not good.
Select a pot that has many drainage holes to plant your ZZ plant. You can also use a pot with fewer drainage holes but should be slightly big. Remember to empty the outer pot if you place your pot in another container to improve its look or to increase the pot weight.
7. Climatic conditions that impact watering of a ZZ plant
You need to water your ZZ plant concerning climatic conditions. You need to decide the amount of water and how often you should water your plant, according to the climate. If the climate is dry and hot in the place you live or in the summers, you can give a full drink of water to your ZZ plant more often. Because the soil in the pot dries quickly and will be ready to absorb the water.
Also, the ZZ plant grows well in such environments, so they need more water to grow. If you are living in a high-humid environment, then you should water your ZZ plant adequately but less often, when compared to the above condition. ZZ plants grow slowly in these climatic conditions. In winters and falls, your ZZ plant grows slowly and so, and watering it more will damage the root system. If you are growing your ZZ plant indoors, water it according to the temperature in your home.
So, you know everything about your ZZ plants, like why it is important to water properly when you should water, and how much to water your ZZ plant. Now, we will discuss the water-related issues that can occur to your ZZ plants and what important things you should do after watering to make them healthy living.
Watering-related issues in the ZZ plants that you should know!
Watering a ZZ plant more than enough is called overwatering. Most of the time, we follow a schedule to water the plant. While following the schedule, you may water it even though the soil is wet. This results in root rot, fungal growth, or such diseases. If you ignore it or continue to water it, your plant may not survive anymore. The signs of overwatering can be observed in the plant, such as:
- Root rot is one of the most common issues that take place if your plant is overwatered.
- The foliage of your ZZ plant may turn its color yellow.
- Stems of the plant may change their color to brown.
- You may observe mushy leaves that are about to fall.
- Leaf-fall can be observed.
As we discussed above, these plants do not need much water to thrive. But, you have to let your ZZ plant have an adequate drink of water, whenever it needs it. If it does not get enough water, your plant may face the problem of underwatering. In this case, your plant will not be able to resist the drought condition anymore and show some signs to let you know that it needs a full drink of water. The following are those signs you must check out:
- You can observe the leaf drop in the plant in this case too.
- The leaves of an under-watered plant become too dry.
- You can observe wrinkled stems and leaves of your ZZ plant.
- Yellowing of leaves can also occur.
Do you know which type of water suits your beloved ZZ plants?
Type of water that suits your ZZ plant!
Many plants need rain water or filtered water for watering. Because they might not tolerate fluorides or minerals. But, ZZ plants do not need filtered water or you do not need to collect rainwater to water your ZZ plant, because they do not get affected by the fluorides or other troubleshooting elements present in the direct tap water. So you can directly use tap water for watering your ZZ plant.
Things you must do after watering your ZZ plant!
There are some things you must do after watering your ZZ plant, to keep it healthy and beautiful. Let’s check it out below!
- While watering your plant, dust (particles of soil) may cover the glossy foliage, due to dry and sand-like soil that tends to fly in the air, instead of sticking to the other soil particles. This results in dusty foliage. After 5-10 minutes of watering, wipe the leaves of the foliage with a wet cloth.
- Spend a little time observing the plant, to find if your plant is showing any kind of signs of underwatering or overwatering.
- Check whether any pest or fungal growth is troubling your ZZ plant, if any gently use pesticides or fungicides to avoid them.
- Spraying rubbing alcohol on the plant keeps the pests away.
- Consider fertilizing your ZZ plants to make your plant thrive.
- Always make sure that you empty the containers (if any) in which the pot of ZZ plants is placed. It takes at least 5-6 minutes for the soil mix to drain all the excess water. So, you have to wait for 5-6 minutes after watering, to empty the container.
Q1. Should I mist my ZZ plant?
Ans. No, you do not need to mist a ZZ plant. You can wipe out the dust with a wet cloth, to remove the dust particles. ZZ plants do not need misting.
Q2. How much water should I use to water a ZZ plant?
Ans. The quantity of water depends on the size of the plant and the size of the pot. Usually, ZZ plants do not need much water to survive.
Q3. How to save an overwatered ZZ plant?
Ans. Firstly, remove all the damaged parts. Cut off the rotten parts of the roots, mushy leaves, and stem. It is better to repot the plant with fresh soil mix. Do not water it for a while.
Q4. How to water a ZZ plant?
Ans. Pour water on the surface of the soil. Avoid wetting the whole plant. Slowly water the plant. Let the soil and the roots observe the water. Water it until the excess amount of water comes out of the drainage holes.
Q5. Should I use only tap water to water my ZZ plant?
Ans. No, you can use tap water or filter water to water your plant, as the ZZ plant tolerates the presence of fluoride and other minerals. While other household plants should not be watered with direct tap water.
ZZ plants are well-known for their beautiful glossy foliage that enhances the look of your home if you have one. These plants can tolerate drought conditions and can survive in low-light areas. It forgives the owner for being neglected for some time.
Follow this article and check out the tips we have mentioned above to water your ZZ plant perfectly. Your care for it will keep it away from problems so, always love your plant and make it happy.
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